Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- sarcocystis cruzi
- Sarcocystis tenella
- Sarcocystis wenzeli 
- Sarcocystis camelicanis
- Sarcocystis neurona
The life cycle, like that of Hammondia hammondi, this parasite has an obligatory two-host life history but sexual reproduction only occurs in the definitive host, where sporogony is completed. Dogs become infected by eating infected flesh of other hosts such as birds or other herbivores. Ingestion of bradyzoites in uncooked meat or wild game results in oocysts being released in the dog intestine, where they sporulate and penetrate the intestinal wall to migrate via the lymphatics to skeletal muscle. Rare cases of migration to the liver and brain have been reported.
Fully sporulated oocysts and sporocysts are passed in the dog feces. The prepatent period is relatively short, at about 12 days.
Dogs infected with this parasite are often asymptomatic, but acute myositis has been reported associated with translocation of the parasite from teh gut to the skeletal muscle. These dogs usually present with fever, muscle pain, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and increased serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity.
Sarcocystis neurona encephalitis and hepatitis have been reported in dogs. Protozoal polyradiculoneuritis and Sarcocystis encephalitis presents as hindlimb paresis, aggression and hyperesthesia.
Diagnosis is based on coprological examination for eggs, ELISA and PCR assays and identification of parasite on tissue biopsy samples under light microscopy.
- Stanford Uni
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